OK I finally remembered to ask about this. When I play some rounds I occasionally get paired with another group. When I watch these other players tee off on par 3s they almost always tee the ball up an inch or so off the ground and pick it out of the air with an iron. Everything I've researched about irons seems to suggest this is the absolute wrong way to use an iron. However... when these guys hit the ball this way they get awesome loft and drop the ball right on the green.
When I get up to hit I try to do it what I assume is the right way to hit an iron and I tee the ball up probably less than a quarter of an inch off the ground and try to compress it. Occasionally I land it on the green and get a small roll but usually I land it in front of the green and roll on (or over). It is very hard to be accurate this way.
Anyway, I'm curious if I'm actually playing these clubs the right way or if the tee box is an exception to the way irons were meant to be used.